PRINT December 1995

Glenn O’Brien


The ART WORLD BOTTOMS OUT. Hey, it can only get better. After the art-market crash, art tried to revive itself by imitating its obvious commercial analogues: rock ’n’ roll and fashion. Mistake. Look how well these forms are doing. Art should have some pride. It turned itself into crap long before rock ‘n’ roll or fashion. Maybe now that the old sales-driven art world is over, artists can think about making art and getting it to a larger and more significant audience instead of a conspiracy of speculators and their hired academician apologists.


OVERABUNDANCE OF COVERAGE of everything coverable, making reality disappear even more than it has already for millions of unrealistic people. In-depth coverage of shallowness. Supermodels, fashion-designer superstars, sports superstars, centerfold superstars, criminal superstars, and ordinary people getting 15 minutes of fame when it should be 15 minutes on the rack. The worst O.J. Simpson himself might be guilty of is killing two people. The O.J. trial cult killed time that adds up to many thousands of lifetimes. The same pseudo-judicial spectacle, broadcast due to a bizarre interpretation of “freedom of the press,” established a new level of misinformation, disinformation, and injustice. If you blow up a photograph enough there is no longer an image; there are only dots. If you blow up an event enough, the same effect occurs. Enlargement and transmission destroy the content. That’s why reality is vanishing. That’s why Natural Born Killers is realism and OJTV is fantasy.

Glenn O’Brien is a frequent contributor to Artforum.